Maintainance and Preparation of Starter

- Always cover proofing bowls with plastic wrap and poke a couple of holes in it so gases can escape. Always use non-corrosive bowls, containers, and utensils (glass, wood, stainless steel). If the temperature in the proofing are varies much at all, wrap the proofing bowl in a towel to help maintain an even temperature
**and**try to find a better place to proof the starter.

A. To prepare starter for use in non-bread, i.e. pancakes, waffles, or muffins, recipes, here are 2 practical methods:

- Combine 1 cup starter, 1 cup 80-85 degree water, and 1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour in a non-corrosive bowl.

- For recipes requiring greater lift from the yeast, proof for 8 to 12 hours at 85 degrees. For non-critical recipes (pancakes & waffles) or recipes using the starter only for flavor, proof at 85 degrees for 8 (mild flavor, more active) to 48 (strongest flavor, weaker action) hours. For the non-critical recipes, you may proof at cooler temperatures, i.e. 72 to 80 degrees, if that is more convenient. Pancakes work fine using even the longest proofing period.

- Concurrent to the above proofing, replenish the remaining starter in the starter container by adding 3/4 cup 80-85 degree water and 1 cup all-purpose flour and mix well. Proof at 80 to 85 degrees for 8 to 12 hours. Refrigerate.

- Note that this method allows the creation of alternative or 'special' starters for use in individual recipes, i.e. throw some cracked wheat into the starter for the recipe, but replenish the starter in the starter container with plain white, all-purpose flours usual.

**OR**

Combine 1 cup starter, 1 1/2 cups 80-85 degree water, and 2 cups white all-purpose flour in a non-corrosive bowl.

- Proof at 85 degrees for 8 to 12 hours.

- Return approximately 1 cup of the starter to the starter container before using the starter in a recipe. Refrigerate the starter in the starter container.

- Note that this method does not allow making alternative starters for individual recipes since the addition of alternative ingredients to the starter (for the recipe) would pollute the starter going back into the starter container.

B. Preparing starter for use in bread recipes:

- If the starter has not been used in more than 3 or 4 days, you may wish to replenish the starter once (1 cup starter, 1 cup water, 1 1/2 cups flour, 12 hours at 85 deg) to ensure the starter is really fresh before preparing for a bread recipe. Most healthy starters are fairly flexible though.

- Use the following table for amounts, and blend together the starter, BREAD flour, and 80-85 degree water. Measure the starter and water carefully. The suggested amount of flour is only a guideline. Blend enough in to make the starter the consistency of 'mud' (a little thicker than pancake batter):

**Bread**Loaves Flour Water Starter 1 1 1/2 c. 1 c. 1 Tbs 2 2 1/2 c. 2 c. 1 Tbs + 1 tsp 3 3 1/2 c. 3 c. 2 Tbs

- Proof for exactly 24 hours at 72 to 77 degrees.

- Concurrent to the above proof, replenish the original starter by combining 1 tablespoon (discard most of the rest), 1 cups warm water, and 1 1/2 cups ALL-PURPOSE flour in another bowl or in the starter container itself. Proof for 24 hours at 72 to 77 degrees.

- Refrigerate the starter in the starter container.

- Note that the "1-Tablespoon Method" described allows the instant creation of 'special' starters such as whole wheat or rye (etc). See "Creating Alternate Starters" below.

**OR**

- Combine flour, water, and starter using the amounts in the following table according to the size of the recipe you are going to make. Note that because I suggest using ALL-PURPOSE flour in the following proof, that you should use BREAD flour for the rest of the flour in the recipe (not counting non-wheat flours). Again note that the starter and water should be measured carefully, but the amount of flour suggested is only a guideline. Blend in enough to make the starter the consistency of 'mud' (a little thicker than pancake batter):

**All-Purpose**Loaves Flour Water Starter 1 1 1/2 c. 1 c. 1 c. 2 2 1/2 c. 2 c. 1 c. 3 3 1/2 c. 3 c. 1 1/2 c.

- Proof for 12 hours at 85 degrees.

- RETURN about 1 cup of the starter to the starter container before using the starter in a recipe.- Refrigerate the starter container.

- Note that this method does not allow the creation of alternative starters on an as-needed basis.

C. Preparing alternative starters for bread recipes:

- If the starter has not been used in more than 3 or 4 days, you may wish to replenish the starter once (1 cup starter, 1 cup water, 1 1/2 cups flour, 12 hours at 85 deg) to ensure the starter is really fresh before preparing for a bread recipe. Most healthy starters are fairly flexible though.

- Use the following table for amounts, and blend together the starter, BREAD flour (if wheat) and/or other flour(s), and 80-85 degree liquid (water, milk, or whatever). Measure the starter and liquids carefully. The suggested amount of flour(s) is only a guideline. Blend enough in to make the starter the consistency of 'mud' (a little thicker than pancake batter). It is better to add the specific amount of non-wheat flours that you intend to use, then use wheat flour to adjust the consistency:

Loaves Flour Water Starter 1 1 1/2 c. 1 c. 1 Tbs 2 2 1/2 c. 2 c. 1 Tbs + 1 tsp 3 3 1/2 c. 3 c. 2 Tbs

- Proof for exactly 24 hours at 72 to 77 degrees.

- Concurrent to the above proof, replenish the original starter by combining 1 tablespoon (discard most of the rest), 1 cup warm water, and 1 1/2 cups ALL-PURPOSE flour in another bowl or in the starter container itself. Proof for 24 hours at 72 to 77 degrees.

- Refrigerate the starter in the starter container.

D. Preparing alternative starters for non-bread recipes:

- Combine 1 cup starter, 1 cup 80-85 degree water, and 1 1/2 cups ALL-PURPOSE flour and/or other ingredients, i.e. throw in some cracked wheat, or substitute part of the flour with cornmeal or rye,etc.

- Proof the starter for 8 to 12 hours (mild flavor, more active) or up to 48 hours (strongest flavor, weakest action) at 85 degrees. Recipes requiring the yeast action should either use shorter proofs, or cooler (72 to 80 degrees) proofs if proofing for a longer period.

- Concurrent to the above, replenish the starter in the container with 3/4 c. 80-85 degree water and 1 cup ALL-PURPOSE flour. Proof for 8 to 12 hours at 85 degrees. Refrigerate.